Is a Dedicated/Private Cloud really a Cloud?

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Is a Dedicated/Private Cloud really a Cloud?

Is a private cloud really a cloud?

As we address information technology requirements, restricted budgets, and condensed timelines; many of the core information technology components are simple "skipped" within IT solutions.  Whether the restriction is time or money, often components like help desk, disaster recovery and/or service level agreement management may not be fully integrated into the solution.  

Dedicated / private cloud implementations allow an organization to hit the IT reset button, and the Dell Cloud for US Government is built specifically to assist our customers in the journey.  Leveraging requirements outlined in NIST 800-53, the Dell Cloud for US Government provides the components once absent from IT solutions.  Is a Dedicated/Private Cloud really a Cloud?  The answer is yes, and here is why:


Automation

Many years ago we implemented mainframe technologies with virtualization as a core component, automated workflow with in the virtual environment was an absolute. During the 1980s, as x86 servers became more prevalent, the common configuration was a physical server, and dictated by the critical nature of the service some may have been configured in a cluster.  As we moved into the 1990s and now the 2000s, virtualization has consolidated many of our physical servers… although we quickly discovered that virtualization without automation was simply more servers that we had to manage.

A cloud infrastructure, by default, runs within a virtual environment. Coupled with the virtual environment is workflow automation. Virtualization, automation, and workflow are common components of what is often referred to as cloud orchestration.  One of the byproducts associated with cloud automation is the ability to provision resources.

Many organizations have defined process by which new enterprise resources are made available within their network. The defined process often includes an analysis of available budget, adequate ports, cooling, rack space and many other variables that will ultimately impact the success of a new information technology service.  Within the Dell Cloud for US Government environment, many if not all of the workflow process can be automated as part of the cloud orchestration/provisioning activities. Many of the data points required to make an informed decision about adding new resources, are available somewhere within the cloud environment. The ability to automate workflow, virtualization and automated provisioning is one of many benefits achieved with a private or multitenant cloud infrastructure.

Operations

Before continuing, ask yourself this simple question, “How organized are you?” Many of us would not agree that being organized directly translates to being more efficient.  Although many of us understand this to be true, often we find ourselves less organized then we would like to be. Operational support for our information technology environments too often shares the same fate as our organizational efforts. 

Operational support includes change management, configuration management, incident management, and many of the processes and philosophy that enables successful operational environments. Cloud technology that is compliant with NIST 800 – 53 controls must have well defined configuration management disciplines. In fact, satisfying many of the control sets found in NIST 800–53 require a detailed “mapping” of the impact a specific action will take with in the cloud, as well as all of the touch points for that action, coupled with the impact to the configuration of the cloud environment.  In addition, the Dell Cloud for US Government, dedicated/private and/or multi-tenant provides continuous monitoring of the environment to makes us aware of any change, whether known or unknown.

Reporting

Reporting often includes many facets of the information technology environment, operation, statistical usage, predictive foresight, log aggregation, and many other valuable data points to manage our environment. Within a cloud environment, all of these data points, as well as others are used to manage the cloud experience.

Terms like: cloud metering, chargeback and showback. All of these terms leverage reporting components designed to optimize your cloud experience. Some benefits associated with cloud reporting include, although are not limited to:

Time and Energy: cloud technologies require a dedicated metric for usage with in the cloud environment. Whether your organization absorbs these costs directly, or sub organizations contribute to meeting these financial responsibilities, the Dell Cloud for US Government will provide you with the granularity needed to understand true cost associated with your cloud.

Cloud Metering: many cloud infrastructures allow the assignment and cost collection to core components with in the computing environment which include: storage capacity, processing and memory utilization. The Dell Cloud for US Government takes this a step further by providing flexibility to aggregate data collected by additional components within the cloud, for example: bandwidth utilization, host operating systems, virtual platforms and applications.

Application costs: understanding the core costs associated with the cloud infrastructure is important, although most of the services provided within a cloud are dependent upon applications (i.e.: email, file sharing, organizational applications).  The Dell Cloud for US Government enables the ability to meter and associate application costs with specific services and or users.

Security

Security is probably the most reference reason why consumers are hesitant to adopt cloud. Cloud security is absolutely critical, within a multi-tenant as well as a private cloud environment.  Why should you trust the cloud? Consider the following: 

If I were to purchase a home in the middle of a thriving metropolis, I would have a heightened awareness of my surroundings, perhaps home alarms, deadbolts, and other security measures... assuming that a break in will occur.  If I purchased a home in the middle of the country, I may leave the house unlocked, as the probability is very low that anyone would want to break in to my home. 

Environments that are public facing often have enhanced security practices simply because probability is high. Whereas, for many years, security found with in organizational/private information technology environments were inconsistent, simply because probability of a security breach is perceived to be less.

Let's translate this into cloud technology. Whether you have decided to leverage a multitenant or a dedicated/private cloud, the security used to build the cloud is consistent and capable of handling both “living in the city (multi-tenant) and living in the country (dedicated/private)". Cloud technology always assumes that the probability of a security breach is extremely high, hence many security practices are implemented within the Dell Cloud for US Government that may not be seen within an isolated infrastructure environment serving an organization.

So... Is a Dedicated/Private Cloud really a Cloud?  Absolutely.  

  • yap thats true it is cloud.  my only problem with cloud is the security of the data and the lack of infrastructure to support cloud in 3rd world countries. another thing is the cost of data needs to go down before cloud can be adopted universally, right now its not really cost effective to use cloud